Feast your eyes on this.

 

 

I think I’m in love.  These are my kind of women.  If they can throw down Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-style and fend off a giant purple octopus than I’m asking them out on a date.  Seriously, you never know when Cthulhu might arise from R’lyeh and go tracting, so that’s why it’s always good to have a pair of butcher knifes and sister missionaries lying around to defend your territory.  (Sigh.)  If only I were single, and they weren’t sister missionaries, or fictional depictions of such, our love would be written in the stars.

What you’re looking at is the cover of Monsters & Mormons an amazing new anthology of short stories that has been recently published.  This book has something for everybody: Bishops fighting demons; the Church of Jesus Christ of Martian Saints; Elders taking out zombies; green gelatin on a rampage; and pirate ghosts on the Great Salt Lake.  This book is so bitchin’, so mind-blowingly cool that even the introduction contains a plus-four magic item that exterminates squirrels.

Now, the editors of this instant classic, Wm Morris and Theric Jepson, are esteemed men of letters, and all class, and as such they are not wont to shamelessly beg you to buy this thing, but seeing as I am a reality TV producer, an inveterate liar, and a straight-up huckster, I am telling you to run, don’t walk, run over to the following website to buy this thing.

http://b10mediaworx.com/b10mwx/catalog/monsters-mormons

For the low, low price of $4.99 you can get all 30 stories today.  And it doesn’t stop there, you can get the preface by Terryl Givens at no extra charge.  And just because we’re good friends, I’ll throw in the story I wrote for free.  Think about it, friends, that’s less than 17 cents a story!  Why, my story alone is worth at least a quarter!

Those of you who know me, know I find self-promotion really distasteful.  I do.   So, of course, I hesitate to call my little story good, but I will tell you this, I worked very hard on it.  In fact, there’s more alternate versions of it than there are of Blade Runner.  It’s true.  Not only that, but it is so haunting and disturbing that the family which holds the rights to a certain primary song I wanted to include flatly refused me permission.  True story.

In fact, my story is so horrifying that a week after you read it, if you don’t ask someone else to read it, a ghost girl with long wet hair will crawl out of your TV and kill yer butt.  My story is so terrifying it had to be edited by a team of hundreds of editors one sentence at a time, because if you read two sentences in a row, you suffer paralysis and wet your pants.  They had to go to Costco and buy all the editors adult diapers just in case.  Honest to God.

My story is called “The Eye Opener” and it’s about a man who begins opening his eyes during prayers at church and doesn’t like what he sees.  It all starts when he’s holding the microphone during a baby blessing.

Below is a two paragraph excerpt.  Now, I must warn you, don’t read it if you don’t have tiger blood.  This amount of my story kills most mortal men, and causes pregnant women to immediately give birth.  You have been warned.

Wayne Michaels looked him in the eye and Gordy made eye contact right back.  How come your eyes are open? Gordy was thinking.  I need to see where the microphone is.  It’s my job.  But there wasn’t a hint of embarrassment on Wayne Michaels’s face, or even a suggestion that having your eyes open was out of the norm.  In fact, Wayne Michaels looked like he might think closing your eyes during a baby blessing was a weird thing to do.  He was looking at Gordon unflinchingly, smiling a big, broad smile.  It wasn’t a disarming how-funny-we’re-both-here-in-this-situation smile.  It was a this-is-who-I-am smile.

But it wasn’t the open eyes or the smile that Gordy couldn’t shake.  It was the forked tongue that flicked out of Wayne Michaels’s mouth and ran across his teeth.

That’s only the beginning…

Before, I wrap this up, can I just take it down a notch and look you in the eye and get serious?  The second I heard about the concept of this anthology I knew I wanted to be part of it.  Was it because I love things that go bump in the night?  Because zombies are some of my closest friends?  Because I have a secret love affair going on with Shub-Niggurath?  No, it’s none of those things.  It’s because I think this is the direction Mormon literature has to go in.

My personal, and quite possibly ill-informed opinion, is that our literature needs to entertain first before it can enlighten.  That doesn’t necessarily mean it has to have elements of sci-fi, noir, or the supernatural, but the competition today for the time people are willing to give to stories is astonishingly fierce.  So a little bit of genre, a little bit of what’s popular, a little bit of what sells might be a step in the right direction.  $4.99 is a small price to pay to support Mormon writers and read stories the likes of which have never been seen before.